Tuesday, August 10, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 32 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“It looks awesome. We’ve had tons of compliments on how the ice is.”
- Tracey Linderman  
- on the ice in Coleman   
   
Locals invited to preview trail system
 
The community walking trail project is making definite strides, as the trail between Fireman's Park in Bellevue and the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre is near completion thanks to the efforts of the Katimavik volunteer group and other local enthusiasts.
The trail building is a major project for this latest group of Katimavik youth volunteers, who come from across Canada. Five of the seven members work on the trail at a time, and have been busy getting it ready for public use. Walking trail project coordinator Jenice Smith and employees from the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre have assisted in their efforts.
Members of the public are being invited to an inaugural trail hike with the Katimavik volunteers on Friday, August 13, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre's parking lot. Smith says that this will be a special sneak peek of the finished trail, and she encourages people to bring proper footwear and water. Anyone taking part will need to sign a liability waiver.
The trail winds its way around the far edges of the Frank Slide, including a specific viewpoint overlooking the century-old rock slide, where a bench will likely be installed in the future. For part of the trail, walkers will use the old wagon trail that was once used to bypass the Slide area. The trail runs through a scenic route, avoiding cliffs and nesting nighthawks, skirting wet areas and crossing a small, intermittent stream.
Walkers are treated to rare views of the Slide as seen from its far side. Smith says that many people who have seen the trail so far have noted that they had never been through that area before.
The trail is designed for both walkers and cyclists, but is designed as a natural, recreational trail. Smith says that they aimed to cause as little disturbance as possible, using natural trail surface.
 
In addition, they are reclaiming older trail areas that have now eroded, bypassing them with newer trails that meed trail grade standards and will be easier for people to use.
Smith says that the trail is being built using guidelines from the International Mountain Biking Association. She attended their workshop, put on in the Pass in connection with the mountain biking trail system being developed in Blairmore, and has applied this knowledge to the walking trail. The Katimavik trail builders have also benefitted from the local trail building workshop.
Some of the knowledge applied to the trail include grade specifications, openness, and methods to help water drain off the trails as efficiently as possible.
Smith says that the assistance of Katimavik has been vital in getting the work done as quickly as it has. "They're doing really great work," she says. "Lots of progress."
The trail will be used in the future not only by recreational walkers and cyclists, but by interpreters from the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Smith says that they intend to use the trail as part of their interpretive hikes, and as a way to take visitors to the Bellevue Underground Mine without driving.
Numerous approvals had to be obtained to run the trail through this section, as it crosses land under many various jurisdictions, including the Frank Slide's no development zone. Smith says that everyone has been helpful and positive about the project.
Once this section of the trail is complete, she will continue working on securing sponsorship money for trail signage and other improvements. She says that the majority of approvals for having the trail cross private land are now in place, and that contracts will go out to tender for some of the other between-town trail building.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 32 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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